From one haircut (that of Heta senior creditors) we go to another.
When it comes to its human rights record, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia manages to avoid the mainstream media even though, as we reported recently, just in January, Saudi Arabia executed 47 people – its largest mass execution since 1980. Some were convicted terrorists, but others were political activists. Footage smuggled out by activists has revealed that the executions sparked the largest public protests since the Arab Spring.
Here is another, just as striking, example of Saudi “tolerance.”
According to AFP, the ultra-conservative, Wahhabism-practicing kingdom of Saudia Arabia had their sports authorities stop a match on Friday to cut a player’s hair because they deemed it “anti-Islamic.” A video posted online on Friday showed one player being given a last-minute haircut before a fixture to comply with Saudi Football Federation guidelines.
The video shows a referee using scissors to remove a small mohawk at the front of his head before allowing him onto the pitch. The head of the kingdom’s youth organization Tuesday asked its sport federations and Olympic committee to “ban the qazaa phenomenon”, using an Arabic name for eccentric styles often sported by footballers, the website www.arriyadiyah.com reported.
Such haircuts are against Islam and Saudi traditions, one commentator wrote in the newspaper Al-Jazirah on Friday, urging the football federation to “impose sanctions” on offending players whose “bizarre haircuts are imitated by their fans in schools.”
As AFP concludes, Saudi Arabia, where many foreign professional footballers play for local teams, applies a doctrine of Islam known as Wahhabism. And since players are paid good money, we wonder how long before they all comply with this latest fanciful “regulation” and appear bald on the football field out of fear not to offend anyone.
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